Obamacare is the Law of the Land, No Matter How Delusional House Republicans Really Are


Last week, the House once again voted to defund Obamacare by a count of 230-189, and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was quick to praise the move, saying at a press conference, "We had a victory today for the American people, and frankly, we also had a victory for common sense."

Keep in mind, this is the same John Boehner who said shortly after the 2012 election that Obamacare is the law of the land and he would not make it his mission to repeal it.

Just 10 months since the 2012 elections, we're on the verge of a government shutdown because John Boehner and many Republicans in Congress are putting politics ahead of reality. President Obama will not sign anything into law that repeals or defunds the hallmark legislative accomplishment of his presidency. He'd be willing to make some changes here and there to ease implementation, and even delay some provisions if it makes sense, but he won't repeal or defund the law. And he definitely will not cede any ground on the law as a precondition to keeping the government running and keeping the country from defaulting on its debt.

At this point, we can count on nine hands the number of times the House has "repealed" Obamacare. Meanwhile, there are not even close to enough votes to repeal or defund Obamacare in the Senate. And, even if there were, President Obama would veto any such resolution and there are nowhere near enough votes to pull together a 2/3 majority in both chambers to override a presidential veto.

So why do House Republicans continue this charade? Some Republicans have think that a government shutdown will halt implementation of Obamacare. But, there's one big problem with this strategy: in addition to being horrendously damaging and irresponsible, shutting down the government would not actually shut down Obamacare because a significant part of the law is financed by mandatory funds, as well as multiple year and no-year discretionary funds, which are not beholden to annual budget debates and thus unaffected in a government shutdown.

Ezra Klein goes so far as to say that shutting down the government would not hurt Obamacare, but might actually help it. He argues that Republicans run the risk of being seen as saboteurs if the government shuts down, which could keep them out of power for the foreseeable future.

Republicans have tried to stop Obamacare by every means possible, and have lost at every turn. Now that all the conventional methods have been exhausted, they're attempting unconventional means. But, shutting down the government is not a victory for the American people. Defaulting on our debt is not a victory for the American people. And putting our country's credit and economy at risk over political games is anything but common sense.